Friday, November 21, 2008

Study Abroad Notes: Field Research on the XO program

I am attending a Study Abroad meeting, learning how I might set up and run a faculty-led short-term study abroad program. I just learned that I need to start working with International Program Office 9-12 months in advance; also learned that I could have gotten emergency evacuation insurance much more cheaply through the IP Office than I did commercially last year! Costs are likely to be significant, perhaps prohibitive. Need to be upfront and realistic about costs, including the $500 in shots and medication, airfare, visas, etc. If enrollment goals are not met (costs not covered), would need to decide whether to go at a loss or cancel class.

I'm trying to imagine an appropriate study abroad experience for English majors (ugrad and grad) that would take them to Africa. I am particularly interested in making this into a research class that might set up a study of something like an XO Laptop program in Rwanda. Students would presumably do a little of observation, interviewing, perhaps teaching, maybe an introduction to video research. Probably a course that would make sense to graduate students; might seem too foreign for u-grads. Maybe I need to try this research out myself, first.

Found a blog by Dan, who traveled to Ethiopia to assist with the first XO deployment in that country.

7 comments:

Doc Mara said...

Let's do it!

Karl K said...

My Nigerian classmate keeps talking to me about the expanding use of writing centers in Africa.

What about a Grad-student visit to some of them? Seeing how they approach expanding writing practices? Doing some volunteer tutoring at various locations?

The International Writing Centers Association may be an outlet for more info: http://writingcenters.org/about/regional-organizations/

Kevin Brooks said...

Karl,

It would probably be easier for a graduate student doing dissertation research to travel to Africa and do this kind of work than it would be for me to set up a whole graduate class. Or maybe I just need to start with the graduate student as researcher model, and then see if that model could be expanded to a class.

Thanks for the link.

And thanks for the cheerleading, Doc.

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